July 15-23, 2009 -- Nicaragua: performing in Managua, Diriamba & Leon plus visiting Masaya, Granada, Viejo Leon

Event -- United Poets Laureate International (UPLI) 22nd Bi-Annual Congress (features international poets, musicians, poetic dancers & some visual artists). I was performing with San Francisco based Natica Angilly's Poetic Dance Theatre.

These are preliminary photos from the cell phone... I haven't been home yet.... am actually in Las Vegas to teach/perform/judge at Wiggles of the West Competition. Flew directly here from Managua. And I'm sitting by the still-packaged Marimba shown below. My roommate isn't up yet and though I am exhausted I can't sleep. I will update this page once I get all the photos for real.... we do have videos of all our shows (they were actually terrific). This is just a start.....


First views from the plane featured active volcanos. Nicaragua has volcanos like Germany has castles.... they are commonplace. Like 7 of 'em


Welcome to Nicaragua! Usually this is my favorite kind of photo to start a travel set but they used yellow lettering on a grey wall so it isn't very spectacular.....


This Flir heat camera was the first thing you visited on the ground just off the plane. One by one you are checked to eliminate people with fever. None of our people came up positive so I don't know what would have happened...


Panel from the UPLI conference. Members from Europe, Asia, Africa, North & South America, Australia... international for real.


Paintings on display by a Nicaraguan artist. I liked these ones a lot.


On the bus. Tour bus for a large group of delegates was a big ol' school bus. Forgot how echhh they could be. Our elderly or infirm participants were on a smaller air-conditioned bus.


Just a street in Managua


Restroom on the way to Duriamba. Actually we stopped at a police station and used theirs. The big pile of machetes in the corner probably would have disuaded criminals from acting up.


Street in Duriamba


We danced as part of a big assembly at a school. The assembly was celebrating poetry (there are incredibly famous and treasured poets in Nicaragua) and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the revolution (being nationally celebrated a few days later).

There are kids doing folkloric dances.


Painting of the Guegence. Faster to look it up on Wikipedia


Street in Leon


Sign in Leon. We get around, eh?


We performed a show at this theatre. Yummy, yummy big full theatre.


Detail from the ceiling in the lobby at the theatre. Entire country featured furniture, archetectual pieces of some of the most gorgeous solid wood.


Active volcano Momotombo on left, inactive volcano Momotombito on right.


We have a lot of good shots of this anti-Bush graffiti from a public square in Leon. This one was just on my cell phone. There is also a mural with a soldier with his foot on Uncle Sam's head.


Church in Leon


Photo standing on roof of church in Leon. There are all kinds of signs warning you not to climb on the domes because they are weakened from the last earthquake. Of course people don't read the signs....


View from church roof of active volcano.


Old New Market place in Masaya


Also the old new market place in Masaya. BTW, they don't yell at you and chase you around like they do in China... Egypt... Turkey... Mexico...


Visiting the volcano. A few years ago a tourist bus was hit with a bit of lava spit-up. The signs were upgraded to this:


Open caldera just over that fence


This cross was supposed to keep the devil in the fumarole of the volcano, according to one clergyman a few centuries ago. Tell it to that tourist bus a few years ago, eh?


Another belly dance poster. This one on Granada. We are everywhere...


Pre Columbian statue


A TON of pre-Columbian statues


Monkey in a tree off Granada


Ground steam seep "Mud Pots" outside of Granada. Scariest place I have ever been standing in the middle of a field of seeps. A huge hole had opened up in the middle of the field just out of the blue the month before.


No railings... no limits... just scary


Here is a close up of a hole about four feet across.


Street musician with a professional Marimba. This is the kind I bought.

Now this guy is a little short, but the instrument really is quite large at 50"


The craftsman's home who made mine.


His sign.


And my new Marimba working its way home with me on Continental Air.

Marimbas sound like a cross between wood and water if you are unfamiliar with them.